Alexandria, VA — The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and Keep Florida Fishing commend the U.S. Senate for passing the Water Resources Development Act of 2016 (WRDA), which provides essential funding for the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP), as well as infrastructure and other habitat and water quality projects throughout the nation.
CEPP is an important step in bringing much-needed relief to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuary systems and will also facilitate the flow and treatment of water south of Lake Okeechobee into the Everglades system.
“With the Senate’s passage of the WRDA, crucial projects supporting Everglades restoration and waterway access move one step closer to completion,” said Kellie Ralston, Florida Fisheries Policies director for the American Sportfishing Association. “Our thanks go to lawmakers involved including Florida Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio for understanding the urgent need for measures that will lead to a more natural flow of water through the Everglades system, helping Florida maintain its role as the ‘Fishing Capital of the World.’”
“This is a significant victory for anglers and boaters in Florida and throughout the nation. Projects supporting clean water and safe navigation are non-partisan and we are very pleased this essential legislation is moving forward,” said Scott Gudes, ASA vice president of Government Affairs
“We now call on the same bipartisanship effort in the U.S. House of Representatives to immediately take up this important bill, which will have a major positive impact on Florida wildlife and fisheries habitat,” said Gary Jennings, Keep Florida Fishing manager. “Our state’s environment, as well as our residents and visitors, will benefit from the WRDA for years to come.”
Recreational boating and fishing industry leaders, including Ralston, voiced their support for the WRDA by holding a briefing and panel discussion with the Congressional Boating Caucus on Capitol Hill. The Boating Caucus is an informal, bipartisan group of U.S. Senators and Representatives who advocate for the interests of the recreational boating industry.